Archive for the ‘Projects’ Category

Huangshan Ltd – a new series

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Huangshan Ltd - a new series

Huangshan Ltd

Huangshan (literally ‘Yellow Mountain’) in Anhui province is one of China’s most iconic national monuments. A range of mountains with 72 granite peaks and covering nearly 300 sq.km, the ‘Mount Huangshan Scenic Area’ is a UNESCO World Heritage Site providing habitats for rare and threatened species. One of China’s top tourist destinations, its iconic beauty ranks with the Yangtze River and the Great Wall as a potent cultural and spiritual symbol. A ‘sister’ national park of Yosemite in the US, Huangshan has inspired centuries of painters, poets and scholars becoming known to the Chinese as ‘the number one mountain under heaven’. It is particularly renowned for the gossamer threads of ethereal mist that drape the mountains and for the regular phenomenon by which those mists dramatically converge into dense ‘seas’ of cloud which surge and billow between the peaks.

The entire Mount Huangshan Scenic Area is owned and managed by the ‘Huangshan Tourism & Development Company Ltd’ and is listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. China’s decades of rapid economic reforms and the unwillingness of central government to allocate money and resources to such areas has led to this process of privatisation. It’s a model that is being widely replicated for other iconic spiritual and historic sites, from Shaolin temples to sections of the Great Wall.

In this series of photographs, Huangshan’s seas of cloud become an allegory for the process of privatization of an iconic landscape. The mist builds, converging into a sea of cloud that blankets the peaks, and finally disperses. Photographed in a style resonant of traditional Chinese ink drawings, the clouds denote the growing rift between a nation and a landscape once revered as the inspiration for the Chinese collective national identity.

 

Huangshan Ltd - a new series

The full series of images from this project can now be seen on my portfolio website here or on this permanent gallery page on this blog.

Artist Statement

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

My two recent projects – ‘Huangshan Ltd’ and ‘Bamboo (Six Seconds)’ – mark a slight shift in emphasis in my work – though the progression to this point is clear from a stroll through my ‘generic’ portfolios – ‘land’, ‘sea’ etc. Both projects also share a framework which I intend to continue to pursue in the future. Below is my ‘artist statement’ which should explain all.

Artist Statement

Historically cultures have turned to their natural environment as a source of inspiration for collective identification. Myths, memories and cultural virtues are projected onto the landscape which acquires iconic status, becoming imbued with moral and spiritual significance. Increasingly though, these bonds between a culture and its physical landscape are becoming eroded as we adapt the environment to our own ends rather than allowing it to shape who we are.

My work documents this rift, using natural ‘tools’ within the landscape to articulate this growing spiritual and cultural detachment. These devices have included invasive vines (Fault Line), atmospheric phenomena (Huangshan Ltd) and time itself (Bamboo (Six Seconds)). Hushed rhythms of meditative beauty are used to engage the viewer with disquieting issues and ideas, asking them to re-evaluate our culture’s changed and fraught relationship with the land. Powerful places are quietly told, the landscapes mediated by unease. The projects, through the lens of landscape iconography, address issues of conservation and ecology, ecosystem transition and the ethics of land use and ownership.

 

www.jonwyatt.co.uk

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Isle of Jura in the Scottish Inner Hebrides

Saturday, January 8th, 2011

Isle of Jura in the Scottish Inner Hebrides

I’ve recently returned from 2 weeks on the Isle of Jura in the Scottish Inner Hebrides. Many thanks to Jane and Hugh who looked after us so well, their idyllic cottage providing stunning views of the Paps – ‘mountains’ rising to 785m at their highest point.

Isle of Jura in the Scottish Inner Hebrides

The island’s relatively small but boggy interior and remote nature (two ferries from the Scottish mainland) combined with extraordinary light, meant I found myself drawn to the views over the Sound of Jura. These are the straits separating the island from the Scottish mainland, which, draped in ethereal light, are known intriguingly in Gaelic as ‘An Linne Rosach’ –  ‘The Sound of Disappointment’. The full series is now up on my portfolio website.

Exhibition and Private View, Kendal Mountain Film Festival

Saturday, September 12th, 2009

Exhibition and Private View, Kendal Mountain Film Festival

The Warehouse Gallery in Kendal, Cumbria, is pleased to announce an exhibition by award-winning photographer Jon Wyatt. As part of the renowned Kendal Mountain Film Festival, he will be showing editioned prints from his series entitled ‘Naked’.

Photographed in mountain ranges across Europe, Greenland and North America, the prints feature isolated figures in dramatic, winter mountain landscapes. They are alone, exposed and vulnerable (ie naked) in these extreme and primal environments.

The images stand as a howl for the preservation of these ecosystems, and have received honours in both the Prix de la Photographie, Paris and IPA Awards.

You are invited to a private view on Friday 30th October and the exhibition will run until Sunday 22nd November.

The whole series can be viewed at www.jonwyatt.co.uk/portfolio